Cold Weather Update

Petunias are one of the summer annuals that need to be planted after the area is frost clear

Petunias are one of the summer annuals that need to be planted after the area is frost clear.

Tender summer annuals are everywhere in the big box stores now. So is it ok to plant them now? Frankly, I am not taking a chance. Why not wait until after the average last frost date in the Birmingham area (around April 15) to plant these. Now there are lots of things it is ok to plant, but summer annuals I would wait, unless you are a risk taker. Then what about planting your summer veggie garden on Good Friday which is next week? I think again it is a risk because it is so early this year (March 25). Now I looked at the forecast for the next few weeks, and it looks okay. But as you and I both know, the weatherman is not always right because weather is not predictable.  A recent post by my friend Libby Rich said that the old adage “thunder in February means frost in April” is believed by many folks. It thundered three times in February, according to Libby, and one was February 14. So, if you believe the signs, just wait and buy your summer annuals at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens spring plant sale April 14-17, which always respects the April 15 average frost date.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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